So I had this garden...and I planted all these herbs...then I completely slacked off and did not cut the majority of them in time for drying. (sobs) So long German Chamomile, Apple Mint and Spearmint. I enjoyed you while you lasted. =( But on the brightside I do have tons of basil and oregano left that I can still save. I wanted to make something that I could hang from the ceiling and that I could just walk away from until the herbs are dry. I decided to make drying screens that I could connect together with chain to hang from the ceiling and then easily tuck away when not in use. So I hunted out some old frames from a thrift store and here is how I made my drying screens... (click on each image for a larger view)
- Old frames...the number depends on how many levels that you want.
- Screw hooks -4 for a 1 level dryer, 12 for a 2 level, etc.
- Fiberglass screen or whatever kind of screen you have lying around. Screen from an old door would work great here, upcycle, upcycle, upcycle! You could also use a super thin cloth for this I suppose.
- A plant hanging kit -chain and S hooks (found at Lowe's in the garden section)
- Staple gun
- Pliers (2 pairs needed)
Step 1: First off if you picked up your frames at a thrift store or flea market then more than likely they are dusty and possibly splintered. Clean then off with a damp rag and sand them smooth if necessary. Flip them over and remove the staples from the back with your pliers.
Step 2: Then lay out your screen and place your frame on top. Cut out the shape of your frame.
Step 3: Flip your frame back-side up and staple your screen on. Starting in the middle and working your way out so that you have a nice taut screen. You could also use small nails/tacks if you do not have a staple gun. **The hubby came home with this guy a few months ago and I've been itching to use it...I ♥ power tools!
Step 4: Flip your frame front-side up and screw your screw hooks into the corners. Take advantage of the separation of the corners here for starting off your screw hooks. You could also use a drill to make the starter hole.
Step 5: Take your chain and shorten it if necessary...test it out to make sure that you are happy with the length. If you are using the same packet of chain from Lowe's (2 chains, 4 S hooks) then you will want to split the 2 chains in 1/2 for a good length...about a foot or foot and 1/2.
Step 7: Then take one of your S hooks and connect the other end of all 4 chains in the middle.
No flipping necessary...just spread your herbs out and walk away. The air will circulate through the screens and allow for quick drying time. Just make sure to hang your dryer somewhere dark and cool. I put mine in the cubby hole under the stairs in my basement...I keep potatoes there also.